Withernsea Primary School at top of the class for safety management

10/12/2013

A primary school in the East Riding of Yorkshire has become the first school to be awarded an A grade in RoSPA’s SchoolSafe programme.

Withernsea Primary School recently underwent a review as part of the programme, which evaluates the systems that schools and academies have in place to ensure that risks to the safety and health of pupils, staff and parents are managed in a systematic and balanced way and that pupils have opportunities to learn about safety.

It was assessed in respect of five key areas: teaching safely e.g. the requirements for health and safety management; teaching safety - helping students learn about risk; children having experiences out of the classroom e.g. adventurous activities; physical safety issues e.g. asbestos, transport and play equipment; and  practical management e.g. fire and emergency systems.

A safety in education consultant from RoSPA found that the school had good systems in place to provide safe and challenging experiences for the 500 pupils.

RoSPA - the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - is a safety charity that encourages organisations to strive for continuous improvement. With this in mind, a variety of recommendations were made to enable the school to achieve even higher standards. These recommendations included writing a more user-friendly safety management policy, holding regular safety meetings and including safety issues on the agenda of other team meetings, and providing contractors with site-specific information before they begin work.

David Rushton, head of education and leisure at RoSPA, who presented the A grade certificate to Withernsea Primary School on Monday, said: “We would like to congratulate Withernsea Primary School on achieving an A grade in the RoSPA SchoolSafe programme. This grade is a reflection of the school’s positive approach, not just to health and safety management but also to safety education for its pupils. SchoolSafe was launched in September and Withernsea Primary School has achieved the highest score to date, which is a fantastic achievement.”

Nina Siddle, Withernsea Primary School’s assistant head responsible for business and development, who takes the lead on health and safety management, said: “Although we regularly self assess and undertake regular inspections, we felt an annual audit would ensure our health and safety is as robust as possible. Annual audits are an essential requirement for academies; however, we felt that as a maintained school we should not be an exception to this rule.

“The audit process was exceptionally good value for money and provided us with a day of knowledgeable advice and guidance from the RoSPA officer who visited us. It increased our confidence in what we do and how we organise our health and safety, particularly in light of the work we do with and for other local schools. The 'A' grade we achieved has helped to demonstrate our effectiveness.”

Grades from A* to C are available through the SchoolSafe programme. To find out more about RoSPA SchoolSafe, please call RoSPA’s education department on 0121 248 2235 or email educationhelp@rospa.com.

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